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Old 09-13-2007, 02:41 PM
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Noveske Leonidas Style ICS M16A3

For the last 2 years, I've been using a plain jane ICS M16A3. Pretty much the only accessories on it were a scope and a rail for a light and grip. It's been a real work horse, but I got bored with it.

nextmayor's ICS M16A3 kit w/ M4 RIS upper


Then one night while surfing the net, I saw the Noveske Leonidas and really liked it. Still, due to the conflicting reports I heard regarding how after market front ends fit on ICS M4/16's I didn't know if I could make my ICS M16A3 look anything like the Noveske Leonidas with out a lot of work.

Noveske Leonidas


After searching the net a while longer, I saw that my friend Dhindo (Airsoft Armorer) pretty much made the AEG that I wanted to make, but he was using a CA M4 and the JBU Free Float RIS. This really cheered me up due the the ICS / JBU relationship, so I started getting a plan together.

Dhindo's Leonidas


Pretty much the main components were a JBU M16 length RIS, a Barska Euro-30 scope, and a Noveske KX3 / Fire Pig flash hider. I still wasn't too sure about this project (partly due to cost) until I scored a King Arms Steel KX3 Flash Hider off eBay for like $26, shipped. That really got me going. The next major component I got was the JBU RIS and the Barska scope. Dhindo told me he just had a M4 length barrel in his Leonidas, so I tried assembling the parts I had with my ICS M4 barrel installed. Everything worked okay, but it didn't look quite right too me. Mainly the barrel was too long and I didn't like my riser mount and scope rings, but hell those were parts I had laying around. Additionally, due the the adjustable nature of the ICS barrel, I had some barrel wobble due to the free float nature of the RIS. Additionally, the barrel wasn't centered in the RIS and looked pretty odd.

nextmayor's Leonidas (July 07)


Well once I knew I was on the right path I bit the bullet and decided to machine a custom length barrel. Orignally, I was going to use a ICS M4 barrel, because I had an extra one laying around, but then I thought about how a real free float barrel would look, pretty much just a straight smooth barrel, with none of the changes in diameter / profile as seen as on a M4 barrel. So I decided to go back the the M16 barrel. The first thing I did was cut roughly 7.5" out of the barrel, pretty much all of the exposed ribbed section of an M16 barrel to right behing the slots that are used to hold the front sight in place. I then threaded the 2 sections of the barrel together again, similar to how a Guarder Reinforced Convertible barrel would be. Than came out pretty well and the seam is just about invisible.

I still had the barrel wobble issue though from the ICS 2 piece barrel. I couldn think of any good way to get rid of that and then it hit me. Just make a big doughnut space that's outside diameter (OD) was the same as the inside diamter (ID) of the RIS and had an ID that was the same as the OD of the barrel. So I started turning a lump of aluminum I had laying around. The final step was to drill and tap a hole for a set screw. This space came out just about prefect. So prefect, I probably didn't even need a set screw, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

nextmayor's Leonidas (August 07)


At this point I knew I was getting very close. Pretty much the last remaining issue that I didn't like was my riser mount and scope rings. So I started looking again and saw that Bomber had just come out with a replica of one of the LaRue SPR mounts. After about an hour of measuring different aspects of my AEG, I determined that this mount would work with my scope and clear the rear BUIS by .5mm, so a bought it. That was the last major element for this AEG. Overall I am pretty happy with the results. It looks pretty darn close to the real deal and it's rock solid. The last thing I want to do to this AEG is drill and tap a hole in the flash hider, so I can get it to index correctly. It came with a lot of little spacer / washers to do this, but I haven't been able to get it to line up exactly how I want it. Additionally, I've found that I can always easily loosed that flash hider. A set screw should solve that issue and be able to do.

nextmayor's Leonidas (September 07)


Here a parts list:

EXTERNALS
ICS M16A3 (pre-2006)
King Arms Steel Noveske KX3 Flash Hider
Custom 12.5" ICS M16A3 Barrel
Custom Aluminum Barrel Spacer / Reinforcement
King Arms Tango Down Style 5 Rib Rail Covers
King ArmsTango Down Style 4 Rib Rail Cover
Ergo Grip Low Profile Rail Covers (custom length)
King Arms Tango Down Style Fore Grip
Bomber Troy Style Front BUIS
Bomber Troy Style Rear BUIS
Bomber SPR Mount
Barska Euro-30 Rifle Scope
Butler Creek Flip Up Scope Covers
PDI KAC Style Sniper Trigger Guard
King Arms Tango Down Agency Style 1-Point Sling Mount
Specter MOUT Sling

INTERNALS
Systema 363mm Tight Bore
Systema Hop Up Bucking
Guarder Clear Hop Up ***bin
Systema Bore Up Cylinder Set (nozzle, cylinder head, cylinder, and bearing piston head)
TM Piston with 2nd tooth removed (yes TM, I'd rather blow a cheap piston than a gear set)
ICS Version 2 Bearing Spring Guide with Screw
Systema Flat Torque Up Gears
ICS Copper Bushings
Systema Shims
TM EG1000 Motor
Custom Wiring Harness w/ Deans (T) Connectors
9.6 volt 2200 mah NIMH Batteris

I'm getting between 380 and 400 FPS w/ .2g bb's. I've noticed that this AEG is a lot more tempramental about hop up buckings. When I've got a new bucking installed, I've seen that it pushes the 400 FPS limit here in Ohio, but within weeks, it'll drop down to somewhere in the 380-390 FPS range. That's pretty much my biggest beef with my ICS M16A3.

Here's an actual side by side comparison of my ICS M16A3 Leonidas and the real Noveske Leonidas.



In closing here are some of my thoughts on different parts I used in this project.

King Arms Noveske KX3 / Fire Pig Flash Hider (steel version)
I really really like this piece. It's well built and adds a unique look. I've got no issues with it at all. The finish was nice and even and it seems to have been built with fairly good quailty control. I cannot say if this actually amplifies AEG noise at all, but it does significantly change the sound of an AEG. What I'm not to sure about is if that is because of the conical design or the all steel nature of the flash hider. There are a couple of changes that I'd like to see though. 1) The trademarks and Fire Pig logo are extremely light. Yes they are engraved somehow, but just barely. 2) As mentioned above, I really with this would have come with a set screw instead of the spacers provided.

JB Unicorn (JBU) M16 Length RIS
This unit is a beast. It is rock solid with no wobble at all. It was also easy to install. Just remove the barrel nut, install the new one, and screw on the RIS. The biggest issue that I have with this RIS is that the rails are a lot smaller than they should be. This is an issue because some of my accessories wobble on the rail a little bit, or don't tighten down at all. Over all though, for $65 it's a nice unit.

Bomber SPR Mount
I am most impressed with this piece. I wanted it not only to complete the Leonidas look, but also for the throw levers. I've used other replica throw lever mounts before and they have worked just fine, but have usually been a little on the weak / loose side. This mount is 100% rock solid. No wobble at all. A nice feature on this mount is that the cams on the throw levers are adjustable to take in to consideration the small variances between airsoft rail systems.
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:57 PM
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Very Awesome dude, I look forward to seeing it in the field.

If i dont get my m16 sold I will be building one similar but with a crane stock
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Old 09-13-2007, 06:53 PM
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very nice. I wish I had the cash for something that nice
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:28 PM
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I think the full stock makes the rifle look a little too off center (visually). The only thing I would do would be add a crane stock or even a modstock.

Though I'd take your rifle just the way it is. Beautiful piece.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rctaylor View Post
I think the full stock makes the rifle look a little too off center (visually).
Can't really say that I agree with you. IMO, both visually and balance wise I find this AEG to be pretty balanced. I'm 6'2" and 230# so full stocks are what I prefer.

With that said, I'm still considering a Crane Stock, BUT I'm going to wait on that. My current plan is to pick up a Full Stock ICS M4 RIS (SR-16) and then add the Crane Stock to that. Additionally after seeing how easy it was to do and how nice it came out, I'm going to machine the barrel on the new ICS down to 10.5", for a Mk 18 Mod 0 CQBR type look. That way between that parts I'll eventually have (long upper, mid-length upper, short upper, full stock, and Crane Stock), I'll be able to swap parts to suit the mission. Everything from a 534mm barrel and full stock down to a 262mm barrel and a Crane Stock.
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